MTG demands probe over why former President Trump was apparently not informed of previous Chinese balloons over the US
- Marjorie Taylor Greene called for a probe into why Trump wasn't informed about spy balloons.
- Three Chinese surveillance balloons entered US air space during his presidency, officials said.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene called for a probe into why former President Donald Trump was seemingly not informed about Chinese surveillance balloons that officials said passed over the US during his administration.
"If it's true the Pentagon purposely did NOT tell President Trump of Chinese Spy Balloons during his administration then we had a serious breach in command during the Trump admin," she wrote on Twitter.
"The POTUS is the Commander in Chief. We must investigate and hold accountable those who broke rank," she wrote.
—Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (@RepMTG) February 6, 2023
The Pentagon did not immediately respond to Insider's out-of-hours request for comment.
The news of a suspected Chinese spy balloon being spotted over the US last week resulted in Trump and conservative loyalists claiming that this would not have happened under Trump's leadership.
But a senior defense official announced on Saturday that four previous Chinese surveillance balloons had been seen — one at the beginning of the Biden administration and three during Trump's term. All were much shorter incursions than in the most recent instance, they said.
The recent balloon was shot down by a FF-22 fighter jet on Saturday.
Trump called accounts of earlier balloons "disinformation" on Sunday, telling Fox News: "It never happened with us under the Trump administration, and if it did, we would have shot it down immediately."
Greene followed suit, initially calling the report false.
Greene's newest demand comes as Republicans mull passing a resolution condemning the Biden administration's response, Politico's Olivia Beavers reported.
While Greene now suggests that the Pentagon withheld information from Trump, both official and unofficial reports point to the conclusion that the balloons simply weren't identified as such during his presidency.
Asked about the earlier balloons on Monday, NORAD Commander Gen. Glen VanHerck said that "we did not detect those threats" at the time. He said that the intelligence community had told NORAD "after the fact."
Intelligence officials drew those conclusions weeks afterwards, and Trump was never given the opportunity to shoot one down, unnamed Trump-era officials told Bloomberg.
Senior administration officials speaking to Fox News and The Washington Post said they were discovered only after Trump left office.
"Two things can be true at once: this happened, and it wasn't detected," one official told Fox.
Unsatisfied with this answer, Greene tweeted: "How do they know now?"
It remains unclear how the Biden administration learned about the previous balloons. An unnamed senior administration official said that the fact that they took much shorter flights may have made it harder to detect them immediately, according to The Wall Street Journal.
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